BEIJING, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta invited China to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) during talks held here with Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie on Tuesday.
"The U.S. Navy will invite China to send a ship to participate in the RIMPAC 2014 exercise," Panetta said, emphasizing that the exercise hosted by the U.S. Navy's Pacific Command is the world's largest international maritime exercise.
"We note that the U.S. and China just this week participated in a very successful counter-piracy exercise in the Gulf of Aden. These exercises enhance the ability of our navies to work together to 'combat' the common threat of piracy," Panetta said.
Panetta said the United States' goal "is to have the United States and China establish the most important bilateral relationship in the world. And the key to that is to establish a strong military-to-military relationship."
"We also discussed establishing peacekeeping exchanges between our two militaries to enhance our capabilities in this critical area," he said.
The U.S. hopes to learn from China's experiences leading UN peacekeeping missions in Cyprus and Western Sahara, he said.
The U.S.-China relationship requires long-term perspective.
The progress will not only benefit China and the U.S., but will also contribute to peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.
Panetta also said the U.S. intends to establish a relationship with China that is healthy, stable, reliable and continuous.
"The key is to have senior-level interactions that we are engaging in to reduce the potential of miscalculation, and boost real understanding and expand trust between our countries," he said.
Panetta arrived in Beijing on Monday evening, kicking off his first visit to China as Pentagon chief.
China is the second leg of his week-long Asia-Pacific visit. He visited Japan before arriving in China, and will wrap up his trip in New Zealand.
News we recommend